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Greece secures new bailout terms

April 15, 2013 at 8:37 AM   |   Comments

ATHENS, Greece, April 15 (UPI) -- Lenders in Europe agreed to new terms for loans to Greece that will free up an additional $3.6 billion disbursement for the debt-burdened government.

The agreement includes a new round of austerity measures. Specifically, The New York Times reported Monday, Greece will layoff an additional 15,000 civil servants, including 4,000 this year.

The layoffs are to focus on civil servants close to retirement, but also include 2,000 who have been accused of breaking various rules at work.

In Athens, Alexis Tsipras, the head of the Syriza party, called the layoffs "a human sacrifice" that would push Greece's 27 percent unemployment rate even higher.

The International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, a group called the troika, issued a statement saying fiscal performance in Greece "is on track to meet program targets and the government is committed to fully implement all agreed fiscal measures for 2013-2014 that are not yet in place."

The deal "could be agreed soon by the euro area member states," the statement said.

At the end of 2012, Greece's debt stood at 160 percent of the country's gross domestic product. But Greece was able to secure a deal that allows for a 15 percent drop in a property tax that was enacted in 2011. It also agreed to adopt a plan to collect back taxes and Social Security debt in 48 monthly installments.

"We wrapped it up. We have a deal with the troika," Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said after the meeting.

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